Bob’s Blog Strikes a Chord — California Endowment President Blogging with Great Success

Bob's Blog Strikes a Chord -- California Endowment President Blogging with Great SuccessDr. Robert K. Ross, president of The California Endowment (a powerful influencer in the health care reform and philanthropy world) is blogging and blogging well. Unlike most CEO bloggers, Ross knows how to say it straight, and briefly. Here are a couple of the qualities that make him such a great blogger:

  • His relaxed, conversational tone and writing style: Ross writes exactly to the medium; a must many nonprofit leaders can’t muster. If your leaders can’t relax in posting, then forget blogging.
  • His framing of professional insights in the context of his own experiences, so readers get engaged by the story and learn from the insights.
  • His comfort with engaging audiences, rather than following the traditional command and control model.
  • The interesting stories he has to tell about how the Endowment is helping solve problems in the health care system, and lessons learned along the way.

My only recommendation to Ross is that he blog more frequently than once a month. Posting once weekly is the minimum required to nurture regular readers. If you can’t deliver, you should question whether your nonprofit CEO should be blogging at all.

P.S. I’m not surprised that Ross blogs so effectively. The California Endowment team members are true strategic communicators, parsing each channel for possible application as it comes down the line. They’ve put Ross’ relaxed tone and insightful comments to work perfectly in his blog, which is a powerful complement to a host of other communications channels, each used to its max. For example, California HealthSpeaks is an ongoing podcast series covering key issues in the field, and a key component of the Endowment’s multimedia newsroom.

P.S. Here are more nonprofit CEO and university president bloggers.

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Nancy Schwartz on October 18, 2007 in Blogging for Nonprofits, Nonprofit Communications | 3 comments
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  • Tom Durso

    It’s a tricky thing, isn’t it? I suspect that a lot of senior nonprofit leaders — and their staffs — fear the relaxed style that blogging entails because it doesn’t feel “presidential.” Yet an effective blog can start conversations, give people something to think about, and help to foster change, and if that isn’t leadership, I don’t know what is.

  • Great post, Nancy:
    I took this a step further here:
    http://fragerfactor.blogspot.com/2007/10/photo-of-bob-of-bobs-blog-aka.html

  • christina thomas

    Blogging in such a manner is often an overlooked skill; in the securities industry you’ll run into many math-whizzes that simply don’t know how to effectively communicate to an audience.  Nowhere is this more important than when dealing with endowments, since you have to approach people of means and convince them that their interests align with your own.

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